A Jewish man from Borehamwood who has raised £12,000 for a blood cancer charity and twice donated stem cells and bone marrow has been nominated for a national award.
Simeon Barnett, a negotiation consultant, is one of three nominees for the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards, with the winner to be announced at a Tower of London ceremony next week.
The charity matches those who donate blood stem cells or bone marrow to those with blood cancer and blood disorders, who need life-saving transplants.
Barnett donated bone marrow in March last year and stem cells in December, alongside raising £12,000 for the charity, including £6,000 by running the London Marathon this year. He also raised money by hosting an auction at work, with his employer offering £5,000 as a result.
Asked about the nomination, he said: “I was speechless and humbled. I had no idea that would be a possibility. To know I had been nominated was just a little bit crazy.”
The Anthony Nolan charity became a familiar name to the Jewish community after high-profile campaigns for two Jewish grandmothers – Sharon Berger and Sipy Howard – who were both diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
Berger’s son Jonni led a ground-breaking campaign urging Jewish community members to #Spit4Mum, in reference to the way stem cells are taken, which led to thousands of British Jews registering as potential donors.
Barnett said blood caner charities like Anthony Nolan and DKMS “are constantly looking for potential bone marrow or stem cell donors who can save the lives of people with blood cancer… This is especially true in the Jewish community where ethnicity can play such a big part in matching donors with patients”.